Since the days of the Geto Boyz and Rap-A-Lot Records, Houston has had a prominent place on the hip hop map. Once the Geto Boyz’ run was over, frontman Scarface had risen to the forefront, eventually replaced by UGK. While originally from Port Arthur, the duo was adopted by Houston.
Bun B and Pimp C remained the most-visible faces of Houston for nearly a decade, until the emergence of Lil’ Flip. In the early 2000s, Lil’ Flip rose to fame and enjoyed much success in 2004, with the release of U Gotta Feel Me. This success would be short-lived, as Lil’ Flip’s feud with T.I. eventually resulted in a fall from popularity.
Despite the success of previous Houston rappers in the mainstream, there were several underground rappers, many of which signed to Swisha House Records, who were ready to emerge. Mike Jones built an incredible buzz, which led to Asylum Records signing him and providing a distribution deal to the entire Swisha House label. The year of 2005 was major for Houston, as Mike Jones rose to the top, immediately followed by Slim Thug and Paul Wall. Chamillionaire also debuted in 2005, but did not become knonw until 2006.
After Chamillionaire’s run, Houston was again an afterthought, with Scarface and UGK the lone representatives. Slim Thug remained relevant, but Mike Jones and Chamillionaire disappeared. Paul Wall also kept himself relevant and Houston soon found a home on the internet, with many popular websites providing coverage of their hip hop scene. This internet support has been critical in the resurgence of the Houston hip hop scene, as Marcus Manchild, Kirko Bangz, Slim Thug, and Chamillionaire have re-emerged.
There are many more Houston-area rappers emerging and the city is buzzing as if it is 2005 all over again.